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GMAT Exams
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Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT)

 

GMAT is a test of general skills and abilities that you have acquired over time.

The GMAT is one of many factors Business Schools use when reviewing applications for admission, it is typically balanced with work experience, application essays and an interview. Still a candidate's performance on the test goes a long way towards determining whether or not he/ she should be admitted to his/ her school of choice, these other admissions criteria also play a pivotal role.

This is a computerized examination created and administered by the Educational Testing Service on behalf of the Graduate Management Admission Council. Almost all good quality Business Schools require it for full time MBA programs.

Myth

Lot of students think that GMAT is some kind of exam which tests their business skills.

 
GMAT Overview

The exam measures basic mathematical, verbal and analytical skills.

It does not measure

  • Your business skills
  • Your job related skills
  • Your undergraduate course work
  • Any other quality such as team work, creativity, communication and professional skills.

Note: Do not get confused by the above statements. Some of them may be valid at the time of interview and can differ across different schools.

 
The Test

The test consists of three sections: Analytical Writing Assessment, Quantitative Section and Verbal Section.

 
Analytical Writing Assessment

The Analytical Writing Assessment consists of two essays. In the first, the student must analyze an argument and in the second, an issue. Duration for each essay is 30 minutes and is scored on a scale of 0-6.

Each essay is rated by two readers with a grade from 0-6, in 0.5 point increments. If the two scores are within one point of each other, they are averaged. If the difference is more than one, the essays are read by a third reader.

The first reader is a proprietary computer program called E-rater, which analyses creative writing and syntax. The second and third readers (humans) generally look at the overall impact rather than spelling and grammar.

 
Quantitative and Verbal Sections

The total score ranges from 200 to 800 and essays are excluded from this. This section comprises of the quantitative and verbal sections. The GMAT is scored-based on a 100 point standard deviation, which means that the test is designed for 68% of examinees to score between 400 and 600 , with a median score of around 540 . Previously the median score was designed to be 500.

The quantitative and verbal sections comprise a computer-adaptive test. If the examinee answers the first question correctly, the next question is harder. If the examinee answers incorrectly, the next question is easier. Mostly people believe that the starting questions are more important than the later questions. However the truth is that it depends on how well you perform overall. The more important thing is the questions left blank , it hurts the examinee more than questions answered incorrectly.

The quantitative section consists of 37 multiple choice questions, which need to be answered within 75 minutes. There are two types of questions:

  • Data sufficiency
  • Problem solving.

The verbal section consists of 41 multiple choice questions, which need to be answered within 75 minutes. There are three types of questions:

  • Read and comprehend written material
  • Reason and evaluate arguments
  • Correct written material to conform to standard written English.
 
Analysis of Score

The Analytical Writing Assessment score is not a factor considered by schools when determining a candidate's application, but in case of students tied at same position it can be taken into account. In some more cases, the Analytical Writing Assessment score may be examined more closely if the admissions committee wants to verify whether an applicant's writing ability matches the quality of the essays that have been submitted. Its in case if the Verbal Section score is low or to check an applicant’s grasp of English.

Most schools do not publish a minimum GMAT score as they can accept a lower GMAT score from a strong candidate but may want a higher score from a weaker candidate. Schools generally publish the average and median score of their latest intake. These can be used as a guide; applicants must remember that half of all the successful applicants will have scored below the median mark.

For admission to a top global business school, a fairly high score (at the very least in the upper 600s ) is generally required for the student's application to even receive serious consideration, while for other schools hoping to improve their rankings in the major publications (e.g. BusinessWeek etc), a higher score is generally enough to almost ensure admission, provided the candidate has performed reasonably well on the other admissions criteria.

 
Eligibility

There is no basic criteria for appearing in GMAT exam. NOTE:If you are less than 18 years of age then you have to send a written clarification form to "GMAT Customer Services" of your region signed by parents/ local guardian authorizing you to take the exam and the form states that the applicant and parent/ legal guardian agree to adhere to all the terms and conditions specified by the GMAC (Graduate Management Admission Committee).

 
Eligibility for USA MBA Colleges

Most of the US universities require 12+4 years of education for consideration of Admission to an MBA program.

If you have a three year degree from an Indian university or such similar three year degree programs, you may not be eligible for admission to most MBA programs. You would require a professional four-year degree like engineering or other such courses.

 
Tip for 12+3 (Three Year) Graduates

If you have completed a three-year degree program like BSc, BA, BCom from an Indian, New Zealand, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lankan or any other universities, the suitable plan of action to ensure eligibility for US or some other good b-schools is to do a Post Graduate degree like MSc, MA or Mcom before applying to business schools in USA.
A one-year university affiliated program may make up for the fourth year required. The key point is to ensure that the program that you do is a recognized university program.

Note: No standard policy exists regarding the acceptance of such programs. Some universities may accept 3 year graduation degree but chances are more for 4 year degree students.

 
Fee

The overall worldwide fee for taking GMAT currently is US 250 dollars.

 
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